Consumer interest in immune system health has exploded since the onset of COVID-19, as they search for ways to prevent illness, alleviate stress, and bolster overall wellness. This desire to find solutions that boost immunity is fueling demand and shaping the way consumers think about innovation in delivery format beyond pills and supplements. Overall sales of immune system supplements are up, but more importantly, consumers are expressing a need to learn more about diets and functional foods that support a stronger immune system. Along with providing functional solutions, informing and clearly articulating how products benefit the immune system can offer brands an invitation to bring consumers along on an immune-strengthening journey.
Recent innovative immune system-supporting launches:
The maker of the first gummy vitamin, Mybite, added Hers multivitamins for women to its lineup. These dark chocolate bites deliver vitamins C & D to boost energy and support the immune system in a form that adds an element of delight to a daily wellness routine.
Consumers and brands are increasingly making a connection between gut health and a thriving immune system. Startup Muniq launched in May with nutritional shakes that are loaded with resistant starch, a type of prebiotic fiber, and vitamins C & D to strengthen the body’s natural resistance to pathogens by feeding the good bacteria in the gut.
Mighty Gum is a direct-to-consumer brand that delivers vitamins and immunity-boosting adaptogens and botanicals in chewing gum form. Consumers who are reluctant to take pills and supplements appreciate the convenience of a gum that provides immune support benefits.
Earlier this year, ZAND launched a rapid immunity product, Immune Fast. This breakthrough new supplement combines natural immune boosters with EpiCor®, a fermented yeast that fosters cell activity to deliver immune support within two hours.
In addition to product innovations, we are seeing Food & Bev leaders lean further into consumer health. In 2017, Nestlé purchased Garden of Life, a maker of supplements and vitamins that uses real food formulas, as part of a move to invest in consumer health. Recently, Nestlé announced its decision to acquire Aimmune Therapeutics, serving as a major addition to its health science unit and an indicator of its growing focus on health in general. Specific to immune support, the F&B giant launched GoodBe bars last year. The refrigerated bars have a yogurt filling layered together with fruit, nuts, and granola, and are loaded with immunity-supporting probiotics.
In another shift, companies across categories and industries are demonstrating the prioritization of holistic health for employees and consumers with the creation and elevation of chief wellness/health officers. Beyond providing health benefits, CWOs/CHOs are charged with strengthening individuals’ mental and physical health throughout and beyond their organizations — from educating on nutrition, to providing wellness tools and systems, to ensuring a safe environment on-site or remotely.
“I want companies to have a program where they think about their employees’ productivity and health every day. And then, if they’re customer-facing, how do they convey that same message to the individual customer?” – Dr. David Agus, one of the world’s leading physicians
“I would not be surprised if, 10 years from now, it’s commonplace for most large organizations to have a chief wellness officer or equivalent, taking this challenge on, and doing so in a way that is effective.” – Jonathan Ripp MD, MPH, Chief Wellness Officer at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Get in touch with The Garage Group if your team is facing challenges as you brainstorm or implement solutions that support individuals’ health and immune systems. We’d love to have a conversation about your current goals and priorities, and share more about how we can tackle your innovation and/or strategy challenges via startup-inspired approaches.